Which gift card website is best for sending at scale?
When you want to use eGift cards for customer incentive programs, employee appreciation gifts, or rewards for any type of occasion, it helps to understand how using the right tools can make your job easier.
Not all gift card providers are created equal, after all. For consumers with occasional need of gift cards, a stop at a retailer might suffice. But if you are looking to scale your business through the use of digital gift cards for employee recognition, you'll want to consider using a gift card management platform to track and implement your processes.
Naturally, there are different ways to procure the eGift cards you need for your business. In this post, we will go through some of the most popular options and highlight the benefits and challenges of each.
From there, you can decide which type of purchasing method or platform might best serve your needs.
Top gift card websites
- Runa - Shameless plug! For people looking to send gift cards or visa prepaid cards at scale on behalf of their company, Runa makes it easy to automatically send gift cards to employees and/or customers - see how it works.
- Giftcards.com - Customizable gift cards for people looking to send gifts to friends and family.
- Gift Card Mall - Primarily for consumers to buy physical gift cards or Visa gift cards.
- CardCash - Buy discounted gift cards or sell unwanted gift cards for cash.
- GiftRocket - Unique greeting cards to go along with gift card card purchases for friends and family.
- eGifter - Gift cards can be sent via email, text, or delivered by mail. Option to purchase using Bitcoin.
- Amazon gift card website - Buy Amazon gift cards - to buy virtually anything - directly through their website.
- Visa gift card website - Buy Visa gift cards - to be used virtually anywhere - directly through their website.
Types of gift card websites
Depending on the number of cards you need to send, and the type of tracking and financial reporting you need to do, one solution might prove advantageous over the rest.
Miscellaneous discount gift cards websites
Let's start with a common, but less-secure method some people use to procure gift cards at scale. A variety of discount eGift card websites have sprung up, forming a small industry over the last decade.
Because these websites often sell cards at a discount of up to 10% or more, it might be tempting to source your gift cards through these means. Besides issues of scalability, these sites often have problems with fraud. A physical gift card may not be usable on arrival, or may have been hacked.
In any case, discount gift card sites are typically not a viable option for running your corporate gifting campaigns.
Direct-from-retailer gift card websites
Gift card sales have become ubiquitous over the past 20 years. Nearly every grocery store, pharmacy, and retail outlet in the country offers a wide array of gift cards available for individual sale.
For small gift card campaigns, this may be an option; however there are several reasons a large, corporate gift card program should consider other means:
Purchase fees – When buying gift cards from retailers, the buyer is responsible for paying individual card activation fees of up to $6 per card. This expense may be fine when buying one or two cards as a gift, but can add up to a considerable portion of your budget even for smaller gift card initiatives.
Manual shipping, packaging, etc. - Using cards purchased via retail merchant leaves a lot of manual labor. Packing, shipping, tracking, and reporting all become manual processes, adding hours of work and silent strain on your corporate budget.
Residual balance losses - One of the often unforeseen disadvantages of sending out physical gift cards is the lack of ability to control those funds once they are sent out. As much as 30% balance often remains on a gift card, according to studies. That leftover money can be lost or simply forgotten, never to be recovered.
Want to learn more about how Runa works? Schedule a demo here.
Direct-from-brand gift card websites
Another popular way of sending at scale involves purchasing eGift cards directly through brands. Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, DoorDash, and Target as well as an array of other retailers have bulk purchase programs set up as a means to entice corporate customers to use their services for gifting.
While this is a secure and reliable way of sending out either physical gift cards, digital gift cards, or promotional codes, there are several drawbacks to this method, such as lack of selection, lack of customization options, and the lack of bulk physical card options.
A corporate gift card management platform
Using a platform for your gift card management has several advantages over the other options for a gift card delivery. This option allows you to purchase the perfect gift card for each recipient from a curated list, or even let them choose the reward they receive. A gift card platform also allows you to track the results of your gift giving, see when recipients redeem gift card balances, set expiration dates for your special offers, create customization for your brand, and more. Providers with gift card APIs offer the ultimate level of flexibility.
What to look for in a gift card platform
Once you have decided to invest in a gift card platform, it's important to find the right one. Here are some things to look for when selecting a provider:
Vast gift card catalog
Using a gift card management platform is a great way to offer variety in your gifting initiatives. Look for a platform that has plenty of domestic and international gift partners - Runa has over 1,000! This will allow you to delight your recipients, no matter where they are.
Administering a gift card program is often a team sport. Usability refers to both the ease of use of the platform itself, and the ability to allow every team member to access the platform in order to send. Look for a multi-user platform that can accommodate the needs of your different teams. Most companies want a platform that allows anyone to easily (and even automatically) send gift cards while having the reporting and analytics features necessary to follow up on your campaigns and evaluate their success.
Ready to start using gift card software?
If you’d like to learn more about how you can save time and money by using a gift card platform, we'd love to tell you more about Runa.
Click here to schedule a demo and we'll show you how Runa works.